Ordinarily, Apple releases a major enhancement to its mobile software in September, with a further, ‘.1’ update arriving early on in the following year. However, iOS 8’s schedule of updates will see the Cupertino pushing out the changes much more aggressively, with three major new releases set to arrive before iOS 9. Not only has iOS 8 brought so much to the table already, but there’s still a great deal to come, and so along with the customary iOS 8.1 update, expect to see iOS 8.2 and a further iOS 8.3 as Apple seeks to roll out and establish the likes of Health / HomeKit, CarPlay, Apple Pay and several other potential game-changers.
With the introduction of third-party keyboards, Notification Center widgets, inter-app Siri and Touch ID integration as well as an abundance of other changes, iOS 8 is already among the stand-out mobile releases from Apple in recent memory. But unlike many of those before it, the very first iOS 8.0 doesn’t even tell half of the story of what’s upcoming this time around, and given that CarPlay, Apple Pay and HealthKit will all be integrated heavily with products yet to hit the market, it makes sense that the Mac maker should plan several big updates as opposed to the usual, solitary bump.
This tactic of adding updates on a more frequent basis is nothing new, and just the latest example of an increasingly popular trend throughout the software industry. It’s a tactic that both Google and Mozilla deploy when updating their respective Chrome and Firefox browsers, and could suggest that Apple is about to ditch the whole annual updates arrangement entirely.
Instead, it may be that every three to four months, iPhone, iPad and iPod touch users see a noteworthy update with perhaps one major feature and a few smaller tweaks and adjustments. This seems a more progressive approach than the current modus operandi, that also invites Apple to speed up iOS’s overall development.
Courtesy of analytical data gathered by the folks at 9to5Mac, it would seem that Apple is about to turn this corner regarding its iOS release schedule. As well as allowing the mobile software do develop more quickly, generous updates on a regular basis would also pay heed to the culture of releasing major, potentially faulty releases that are overly crammed with too many features in one hit.
Dividing the release cycle up into more manageable chunks makes it easier on Apple and the consumer alike, and with the aforementioned scope to increase the rate of overall development, this revised system seems a sure-fire winner at face value.
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